Story for the day: The Pink Dress
We saw the most abominable pink dress yesterday. This is what happened.
|Rautu will not wear your dress|
The Pink Dress
Midsummer had come, which inevitably brought about Brigid’s Day once again. The arena in the keep was set and Alasdair had prepared to ask the Den Asaan to be the Brennin family champion when he rather decided that in honour of his newborn son he should be the champion himself. Rautu would have entered the competition if only to destroy the king and claim he require more training but such a feat would be too easily done and therefore the sense of challenge was lost. He did, however, engage in a small skirmish in the yard with Mureadh and Connors to prepare them for the friendly contest and left them with wishes that should defeat their king if only to prove Alasdair’s need for practice.
Instead of remaining in the keep to watch the display, the Den Asaan took his mate to the square where they would be free to mock the festivities made in honour of the day together, which provide more amusement than a half-meant fight ever could. The giant did well to circumvent the multitude of children running around the square and harrumphed at them, noting their grubby fingers and quieted mouths occupied with chocolates handed out by merchants selling all the necessary accoutrement of the day. Shades of red were worn by everyone in the capital, silver charms were exchanged, paper cards were distributed and many young women were willing to be loved by any young man of distinction would seek to make their acquaintance on such a day.
It was a travesty of affection and the commander and Den Asaan delighted in every derisive phrase they muttered between each other. They stopped their aspersions momentarily when a young girl pranced by them wearing a short pink dress covered in ruffles and hearts. The hem of the garb was short, coming only to the knee, and the fabric followed the girl’s flounce. Once the girl had gone, Rautu made the smirking suggestion that Kai Linaa would look well in such an outfit and though the commander may have argued Kai Linaa’s liking of the dress, the fit of it she could not.
“Iimon Ghaala, although many women are dim when it comes to clothing, they will always wear what they like over what fits well,” the commander reminded her mate. “It may very well fit Kai Linaa’s small frame but that hardly means she will parade herself about in it.”
The giant would not be moved in his conviction. He was determined that his brother’s mate should have such a dress and he would see her wear it if only to laugh at it from the shadows of the keep. “You will ask her where she has purchased that garment and we will obtain one,” he told his mate, pointing to the girl now at the far end of the square.
The commander folded her arms and waved a dismissive hand at the Den Asaan’s comment. “Even if we did find one, Kai Linaa will decline such a horror.”
“If I give it to her as a gift, she cannot refuse.”
“True, by Haanta custom,” the commander mused. “She might be forced to accept it. That does not mean she will wear it, however.”
“She will if my brother asks her to do so.”
“Unghaahi would never allow her to parade about in that monstrosity.”
“He would if he believes it is necessary for women to have such a garment on this day,” Rautu demanded.
The commander decided to take advantage of her mate’s resolution and began to contrive a plan that would ruin his assumptions. She looked to Diras Delights in the distance and then spied her mate with a chary glare. “I wager the sum of one chocolate cake that you will never see Kai Linaa wear that dress,” she said archly.
Rautu looked to the side and deliberated for a moment. “And if I win, woman?” he said, looking back at his mate.
The commander laughed at his misunderstanding and shook her head. “The cake is what you shall receive if you win, not if you lose. How shameful your people have no notion of gambling. Now you must bet something in opposition.”
“There is no need,” the giant grunted. “I will win. I am certain of it.”
“Very well,” the commander sighed, standing from her place. “I shall enjoy your astonishment when there is no chocolate cake to adorn our table.”
The commander leapt toward the young girl and asked where so revolting a dress could be procured. She was told which of the merchants supplied the outfit and in a few moments, all was settled. The commander returned to the giant with the dress in hand and bid him to begin his designs on giving it to Unghaahi. He did so with such fortitude when they returned to the keep as to make the commander wonder whether she would be buying a cake that evening after all.
Unghaahi had no notion of the dress being meant for those of a younger age as the Den Asaan had presented its wearing as an obligation for the Frewyn holiday. He was told the significance of putting it on and Unghaahi agreed that his mate should participate in all the festivities of the day exactly how they were stipulated by the kingdom. He thanked his brother and presented his mate the dress with all his natural happiness and good humour.
“Ghaala,” he called to his mate as he entered their residence. “I have a gift for you.”
Kai Linaa bounded into the main room of the apartment and look at Unghaahi with expectancy but her enchantment soon faded when she beheld the distasteful article in his hand.
“I was told young women are obligated wear this garment for today’s celebration,” Unghaahi said, smiling as he held the dress out to her. “I am honoured to give it to you and I would be pleased to see you wear it to venerate the commemoration.”
Kai Linaa’s made a few indistinct murmurs of thanks but was so overpowered by the ugliness of the dress she could not venture to say anything else at present. The heart pattern and brilliancy of the pink fabric offended her. She forced herself to smile but the expression quickly faded into a grimace. The ruffles and frills of the sleeves and hem were unconscionable and the thought of wearing so vile and object was petrifying. She parted her lips to speak and decline the horrendous object but her mate’s genial smile and cordial character ruined any attempt she made at refusal.
“Unghaahi,” Kai Linaa’s voice trembled as she fidgeted with her fingers, “Can I ask who told you about this custom?”
“My brother informed me that this item is imperative to honouring the day. I am pleased he reminded me. I do not know the Frewyn celebrations well enough to. . . Ghaala?” Unghaahi noticed that the more he spoke, the more despairing Kai Linaa’s countenance became. He sensed he had said something wrong and knelt to apologize, laying the dress aside. “Iimon Ghaala Kai Linaa,” he purred, drawing his mate close. “You are displeased with your gift?”
“No. Well, yes. But . . .” She sighed. “I think Rautu is trying to trick you into making me wear that.”
“Why do you believe this?”
“This dress is supposed to be worn by little girls.”
“Ah,” Unghaahi hummed, understanding the fullness of his mate’s apprehension. “My brother wishes to ridicule you. I will not allow this.” He took the dress from the ground and began inspecting it with an astute eye. “Very well. He has given it as a gift therefore I will wear it,” he proudly declared.
Kai Linaa endeavored to dissuade her mate from any retaliation as no harm had been exacted but her pleas went unheeded and Unghaahi proceeded to wear the dress in the only manner he could.
The commander, after watching Connors and Mureadh claim their triumphant victory in the arena over Alasdair, was walking from the gallery to the main hall. She was compelled to stop when she suddenly observed Unghaahi coming toward her in little more than his loincloth, but instead of his usual beige wrapping, he was wearing a familiar pink fabric in its place. He greeted her with his mate at his side and once she recognized the dress Rautu had secured around Unghaahi’s waist and holding his generous endowments, she erupted in laughter for the Den Asaan’s failed scheme.
“Unghaahi, I daresay you have no shame where honour is concerned,” the commander simpered, wiping the tears from her eyes. “You are constant to the last.”
“I am honoured to show my loyalty to my mate,” he replied with a bow, adjusting the pink material around his waist. “Where is my brother so that I may show him the extent of his deception?”
“Hiding from you, probably. I told him his designs on having Kai Linaa dress as a ten-year old would fail. Having you don such a hideous article, however, is an immense delight. I am astonished there was enough fabric to cover you.”
“I was forced to tear the garment apart but it has served its purpose.”
“I daresay it has. Having your gifts wrapped in a pink, silken cloth dressed with hearts is somehow fitting. It would be quite like unwrapping a present. Wouldn’t you agree, Kai Linaa?”
Kai Linaa blushed and giggled into her hand. She spied her grinning mate with partiality and said that she would.